I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

21 April 2014

Happy Easter

My friend phones in crisis.
‘You’ve got to leave it be,” I say.
You can't sustain these shocks.
She’s an adult now.”

"Yes," she says, 
"And it cuts both ways.
If the homeless team find her,
they can't even tell me she's safe
unless she gives permission,
because she's 34."

That surprises me.
I thought the soft-faced girl 
was about 19 —
that childish gaze,
and her behaviour ...

The story this time:
the refuge kicked her out
because she got in a fight,
and the mental health clinic's full.
She's got no money, and 
she's out of her medication.
She’s borrowed a phone
to call her mum
from some woman in the park.

"I don't even know
if she's telling me the truth,
or how confused she might be,"
her mother says.

"But I've worked out the pattern.
It's intermittent. Happens
at Christmas and Easter.”
“When did it start?” I ask.
“She was 13, it was after
her father's suicide."

Her other daughter’s visiting
to use her mum’s computer,
and she has things to say:
"You never helped me either.
You've got to go and look for her.
You're not a proper mother."

I know the years of care,
the returns in violent abuse.
"That's all you need," I say.
"Tell her that's the past.
Tell her to back off."

"Oh, she's worried about her sister. 
But I can't go. The lawn-mowing man
threw up a stone, and smashed 
the back window of my car.
I can't go anywhere."

Meanwhile her son with Asperger's
shuts the door of his room,
“To keep the dramas out.”

"I'm shaking and I want to vomit,"
says my friend.

April Poem A Day Challenge, day 20: A family poem


  1. Unfortunately not unprecedented these days.

  2. I could weep - really.

  3. Cave, Mastodon & Antlered Creature

    Crystals gleam before the night
    she awakes before the others
    a cave will light in both directions

    Putting hands on hard stone walls
    she walks beyond their last erasure
    she’ll walk 50 feet past the erasure

    Midnight of vision or dawn of sleep
    in and out again by the force of fire
    surprised when the subject is the same

    They call her simple they say she’s crazy
    which hardly concerns dark principles
    toting the bag with the colors she needs.

  4. I used (distant) Reiki. By evening things had settled down and were somewhat resolved.